Mia Murray – Townsville Flames
With a highly efficient and comprehensive performance across the court helping her team secure a tidy 100-65 win over Gold Coast, Townsville’s Mia Murray is the women’s Player of the Week for Round 15. Murray particularly impressed with her accuracy from the arc, sinking all seven of her attempts, while also failing to drop a shot from the foul line, in addition to an 8/14 record from the field for a total of 27 points in her 31 minutes. In one of her best performances of the season, Murray’s contributions during the game didn’t stop at scoring, also having a hand in six assists, seven rebounds, and one block. Murray had a quiet start to the game with just two points in the opening quarter, but put her foot down in the second stanza with 11 points, helping Townsville turn a six-point lead into a 31-point buffer by halftime. Murray continued to stand out in the third term with another 11 points, to help push the Flames’ lead out to 48 by the start of the fourth quarter, consolidating her team’s position to cruise through the final period to a 100-65 victory.
It’s Murray’s second season with the Flames, averaging 19.1 points and 7.4 rebounds per game during the season. Her return to the Flames followed her 2014-15 WNBL Championship win with the Townsville Fire, where she was also named Grand Final MVP. An Opals squad member, the guard has previously played for the AIS and Adelaide WNBL sides, in addition to SEABL teams Bendigo and Launceston.
Other noteworthy performers during the final round of the regular season included Rachel Pryor’s 17 points and 21 rebounds to help Cairns take a win over Gold Coast. Ipswich’s Chelsie Schweers put up 37 points in the Force’s trouncing of South West Metro, backing up with 24 points in the following night’s win over Toowoomba. Aja Parham and Nadeen Payne both stood out for Northside in the Wizards’ vital win over Logan, with 19 points 17 rebounds and 17 points 16 rebounds respectively. Chandrea Jones was strong for Rockhampton with 23 points, 16 rebounds and eight assists in the Cyclones’ win over Brisbane.
Kyle Harvey – Ipswich Force
After bouncing back from the previous night’s upset defeat to put on 35 points to help secure a 97-88 win over Toowoomba, the Force’s Kyle Harvey has taken out the men’s Player of the Week title for Round 15. Harvey took a total of 59 points for the weekend, but despite his considerable effort of 24 points in 25 minutes on Friday night it wasn’t enough to help the Force put a stop to South West Metro Pirates sneaking in a 104-102 victory. The team regrouped for Saturday’s clash against the Mountaineers, Harvey helping Ipswich to get points on the board early with the visitors managing to hold the lead for much of the match to secure an eventual nine-point win. Harvey also contributed 11 rebounds, one assist and one steal in the win, helping to give the Force a positive prelude to this weekend’s quarter-finals campaign.
The Toowoomba victory has been Harvey’s strongest showing so far this season, eclipsing his season averages of 22.6 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. The forward, originally from Arkansas, USA, is in his second QBL season with the Force and has become an integral part of the outfit – his reliability improving through the backend of the season in the lead-up to the finals. Harvey’s pre-QBL career included a stint with Team Cantu in the Eurobasket Summer League in Las Vegas in 2013, while he averaged 17.2 points at 50.1% in the field and 6.3 rebounds per game during his four years at Williams Baptist College. He was the top scorer in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletes’ American Midwest Conference three years running, and was also named All-AMC Co-Player of the Year in his final year in 2012-13.
Harvey was not the only strong performer in the league in Round 15, with team-mate James Legan also prominent for the Force, hitting 39 points in the loss to South West Metro, and 33 points against Toowoomba. The Pirates’ Ishmael Hollis was instrumental for his team, contributing 30 points and 15 rebounds, while Eron Maxey was strong for the Mountaineers with 34 points and 12 rebounds. Brisbane’s Aaron Anderson’s 32 points helped get the Capitals over the line against Mackay, while Cairns’ Damon Heuir was in form with 33 points and seven rebounds against Gold Coast.